Android TV boxes are popular solutions for adding smart functionality and streaming content to TVs and monitors. A good Android TV box can add tons of functionality including popular apps to stream TV, sports events as well as movies. The MyGica ATV1960 is an Android TV box featuring Octa-Core processor, 3 GB RAM plus 16GB onboard memory an internal 2.5” SATA HDD Enclosure, voice search functionality and is compatible with the 4K HDR 10 standard. This TV box boasts 802.11ac Wi-Fi, HDMI 2.0 connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet for wired connections and various options for input using microSD card or USB. Learn all about this device in my review below.
More versatile than some set-top boxes that work within closed ecosystems, Android TV is wide open, which is great for users. But there are caveats to open systems which I will discuss later.
Setting Up MyGica ATV1960
The MyGica ATV1960 looks and feels like a Wi-Fi router. It even comes with two fold-out antennas which help in acquiring and maintaining Wi-Fi signal.
You can also just plug it in via Ethernet, which is what I would suggest for a more permanent solution. Plugging this box via Ethernet means you are likely not going to need the antenna, so you can remove these or fold them down.
The MyGica ATV1960 comes with 16GB of storage but if you plan on adding a lot of apps or recording or downloading content (i.e. Netflix treats this like a mobile device, so it allows downloading TV episodes or movies, and these take up space), an inexpensive hard drive would add a lot of space, or you can plug in a microSD card to store content. The expansion options offered by this Android TV are remarkable and can easily expand capabilities and storage over time.
Setting up the MyGica ATV1960, like many similar Media Streamers requires a learning curve. Since Android TV is basically a smartphone OS, some aspects will be familiar to Android phone owners. But there are other parts of the menu and navigation that aren’t just alien, they’re downright un-intuitive.
Remote is useful, interface is a mixed bag
The MyGica ATV1960 comes with a very useful remote control. This has typical channel and play/stop buttons.
Flip it over and you have a mini-QWERTY keyboard with which to type in account passwords and run searches. There’s also a built-in wireless mouse that can be triggered when you point the controller on your display.
The issue is that some apps automatically call up the software keyboard and block off half the screen, this makes even the simplest task of keying in your password a clumsy multiple step process.
Lots of content options on MyGica ATV1960
That said, once you get around this hurdle, there’s a ton of content and applications available for Android TV users. Aside from the requisite streaming services, which require a paid subscription, there’s also apps and games as well as access to news and weather services.
The biggest issue I faced with the MyGicaATV 1960 was that many of the apps and experiences are designed for phones and tablets. They don’t translate perfectly to a large screen plus remote control scenario.
Even with the remote control and its built-in keyboard and pointer, there are a lot of compromises in control. This takes some getting used to and some users might just give up due to frustration.
What’s on Android TV?
Android TV is a portal to hundreds of apps and services that make any TV way smarter and more versatile.
Scrolling down the menu of apps shows a long list of familiar Android apps (many work a bit differently on a larger display and without touch functionality). You can get Netflix, Amazon Prime video and other content-specific applications for sports, movies, and TV shows.
There are other apps for news and weather and while many of these can be downloaded and used, they’re always asking users to pay for the full version.
Voice control works well
Voice control worked well for Netflix shows although it feels like it is faster to just scroll to find what you are looking for.
If streaming music and video are your thing, there are other devices and even TVs that will do streaming better and are more integrated into your TV. What MyGica offers is access to a wider, more arcane selection of apps, games and services. There are some caveats to consider, however.
While the MyGica DTV1960 runs a fairly new version of Android OS and can have any attributes of smartphones and tablets, what might be lacking, however, is close curation by Google, which means there’s always the possibility of fake, illegal or spoofed apps. Most seasoned Android users know what to look out for but there may be other users who are none the wiser.
Extra functionality with MyGica
The extra-functionality piece is where the MyGica DTV1960 really excels because it can be so many things for so many people.
The MyGica DTV1960 is only limited by the apps it can run. This means that if the hardware supports an app or function, it is possible to make it work.
You can stream recorded video using a NAS (Network Attached Storage), you can also use Miracast, which is a wireless video standard, to push any video on your phone to the TV. This gets interesting when you use it for gaming, photos and even VR from Android devices.
Use MyGica for Virtual Reality projection
VR on Google Cardboard and similar phone-powered headsets, is usually limited to whoever is wearing the headset, but with the MyGica DTV1960, you can project what you see on to a TV.
The caveat here is that there may be apps or services that allow users to access content illegally, so users need to figure out which services are legally and morally safe to use.
During my review, I found video quality on a 1080p LED HDTV to be excellent and even Netflix and Amazon Prime video streams, which tend to start out choppy on my other devices, were super crisp.
Many buyers of Android TV boxes like to use services like Kodi, which are powerful, and permit smart media playback and recording. Kodi gives user’s a wide range of content options for accessing and consuming media, Also, it works with almost every OS, so it has become something of a standard for serious streamers and cord-cutters.
Playing mobile games on a TV is another option, especially if you can pair the MyGica to a wireless or wired controller. Note that many of these games are designed for smartphones and tablets, so they won’t scale perfectly on your TV. Also, expect to experience some lag when rendering certain images.
There’s also the question of software updates since there’s little guarantee that upcoming Android OS updates will be compatible with all the features and functionality of the MyGica DTV1960.
Bottom line on the MyGica DTV1960 is that it is a powerful solution for finding more content to stream and watch.
It also adds a lot of functionality to connected TVs, bringing in a vast world of wireless streaming, games and web services. End users who don’t mind fiddling with all the options will be rewarded.